The Life And Times, Spotlights
1940 9th St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
The Life And Times
Since The Life and Times formed, oh, roughly 1,825 days ago and began disarming audiences and critics with unbelievably loud yet relentlessly beautiful music, the main constant for the band has been how uncategorizable they've remained. Sure, they're a "rock band", but one that skirts the boundaries of this word in each song, tipping their collective cap to the giants that loom in each melody.
Yes, they're still moody, spacey, sonically overwhelming, symphonic and always grandiose. But threading these traits together is the same obsessive attention to detail from singer Allen Epley, drummer Chris Metcalf and bassist Eric Abert that was the calling card of Suburban Hymns (DeSoto) and each subsequent release. The music made for their 2nd full length release Tragic Boogie (Arena Rock) reflects a process that's even more detail-obsessed than earlier efforts.
Quoth Allen Epley (gtr/vocs/etc), "We wanted to make the kind of record that a big-name band with a lot of money might make, except we don't have any money. But we said what the hell and decided to do it anyway by going in debt and built our own studio and recorded it in my basement". The result is a record with layered intricacies that rewards repeated listenings. It's also one that heavily scratches that rock itch, ahem, but doesn't drown you in Gee Whiz Factor bullshit.
The time granted by recording without being under the pro-studio-money clock was liberating. Some songs were recorded multiple times, trying different tempos and nuances. Songs like the title track 'Tragic Boogie' reflect an ethos of what they call "pre-post-production", where the idea is to try to "anticipate how we might manipulate the song in post on pro-tools, and then actually perform it that way as we were recording it, and not rely on post to create the effect". After recording , the bulk of tunes were mixed by Jason Livermore (Rise Against, Shiner) at The Blasting Room with the band and their fine-tooth combs in hand.
And though they have made a record for the ages, the live show is the proof. Blisteringly loud, unbelievably lush and brilliantly lit with white light, the sound created by these 3 gentlemen belies their numbers. The muscular 26" kickdrum thump of songs like 'Fall of the Angry Clowns' is not just heard live but felt in the belly. 'Let It Eat' recalls Blonde Redhead in 5th gear at 125mph, anchored by Eric Aberts' headbob-inducing bassline by the time we reach the chorus.
Where '07s The Magician EP (StiffSlack) echoed slivers of Floyd, My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, Tragic Boogie finds them wearing multiple masks within one song, or even one verse. The majesty of 'Que Sera Sera' reflects an ethos of grandiosity of The Flaming Lips, while songs like 'Old Souls' and 'Catching Crumbs' owe a debt of gratitude to Doves and Interpol. And an instrumental with a name like 'Pain Don't Hurt' is proof that, while they are moody and melancholy, they refuse to take themselves too seriously.
Tragic Boogie, like the best albums made with unending attention to detail and looking to scale grand heights, never gets bogged down by the frippery. What really hits the listener are 12 foundation-changing rock songs that have been woven together with love and that slippery agent, time.
Spotlights is the Brooklyn-based married couple of Mario and Sarah Quintero.
In Spotlights, the Quinteros summon a supreme sound, equally heavy and dreamy. A tar-pit sludge-rock foundation is blanketed by layers of shimmering shoegaze. Their debut full length TIDALS was released on Crowquill Records in the spring of 2016 as a follow up to the synth laden, doom-pop EP, Demonstration. Tidals' songs rock hard and memorably, bringing to mind hints of bands, from Failure to My Bloody Valentine to Godflesh to Smashing Pumpkins and beyond.
Spotlights was handpicked by Deftones to support the band on three weeks of its summer U.S. tour in August of 2016. Select dates included support from 90’s post-hardcore, greats, Refused. They quickly followed up with a second national run in September with If These Trees Could Talk.
In December 2016 they self released the 3 song “odds and ends” EP, SPIDERS, featuring a cover of the song She Spider by MEW, and a remix of Joseph, the closing track on TIDALS, done by Aaron Harris (Isis/Palms). The Spiders EP served as the perfect way to hold fans over while the band continued work on their new record.
When it came time to record the the follow up full length to TIDALS, the Quinteros didn’t have to look far to find the perfect producer. “Choosing to work with Aaron [Harris] on our new record was a no brainer for us. We get along great and he completely understands where we are coming from musically and knows just how to capture that.” says Mario. Sarah adds “Plus, he’s an incredible drummer and we tricked him into playing on four of the songs!”. The three of them spent a week in Los Angeles at Palmquist Studios, putting together one of the most dynamic, and emotive collection of songs to date.
The new album, SEISMIC was released on Ipecac Recordings on October 6th 2017, flowing a massive 12 week North American tour with Melvins.
Formed in Washington, D.C. in January of 2014, the EFFECTS are Devin Ocampo, Matthew Dowling, and David Rich.
A multi-instrumentalist, Ocampo is a former member of the bands Faraquet, Medications, Smart Went Crazy, and Deathfix, all of whom released music on Dischord. He has also toured and recorded with Mary Timony, Beauty Pill, and J. Robbins.
Dowling was the bassist and co-leader of Deleted Scenes, while Rich was the drummer in the instrumental group, Buildings. Both released music on the experimental-minded (and now defunct) local record label, Sockets.
Devin met both Matt and David years before and while there had been talk of a possible collaboration everyone had their own projects at the time. However, by 2014 all were between bands and it finally made sense to get together and start something new.
For the trio, playing together was a nice change in routine. It was a new configuration of musicians, rather than a recombination of old friends and former bandmates, which happens regularly in the close-knit music scene of Washington D.C. Matt and David offered a fresh perspective and (possibly) gave the Devin a nudge out of his comfort zone.
Since then, the EFFECTS have performed sporadically throughout the East Coast and digitally released four two-song singles. Their full-length debut, Eyes to the Light, was released in fall of 2017 on Dischord Records.